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Having swollen hands and fingers is a reactively common condition that arises mainly due to fluid accumulation or inflammation caused by poor blood circulation. Thus, this type of swelling is more frequent in those who consume s alt in excess or in women, due to the hormonal changes that occur in PMS, for example.
Swelling usually disappears with simple measures such as lifting the arms and opening and closing the hands in repeated movements, but in some cases it can be a symptom of more serious diseases such as arthritis, tendonitis, high blood pressure or heart failure. In these cases, it is necessary to follow up with a doctor to make the most appropriate treatment.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of the symptoms that may accompany swelling, such as tiredness, difficulty breathing or pain, for example, as they may indicate more serious situations that need medical treatment.
The following are the main causes of swollen hands and fingers:
1. Poor circulation
Poor circulation is the most common cause of swelling in the hands and fingers and occurs due to the body's natural aging process, in which the veins lose their elasticity and become stiffer, making it difficult to get blood from the arms towards the heart that accumulate in the arms, causing swelling in the hands and fingers.
What to do: moving your arms, hands, and fingers every hour, raising your arms, opening and closing your hands, can help prevent hand swelling and on the fingers. You can also do massage or lymphatic drainage to activate circulation.Learn how to perform lymphatic drainage at home.
2. High temperatures in summer
During the summer, it is very common to have swollen hands and fingers and this is because when the temperature is higher, blood vessels dilate, taking more blood to these regions, causing swelling.
What to do: raise the arms, opening and closing the hands to facilitate the return of blood towards the heart, massage the hands and fingers or lymphatic drainage. In addition, it is important to maintain a good fluid intake throughout the day and to eat a balanced diet to avoid fluid retention and swelling of the hands and fingers.
3. Too much s alt
Too much s alt in your diet can cause swelling in your hands and fingers and this is because s alt contains a lot of sodium that retains water and, therefore, if you have it in large amounts in your body, it increases fluid retention.
What to do: A good option to avoid the accumulation of liquid on your hands and fingers is to use low-sodium s alt or use herbs to reduce the consumption of s alt or avoid adding s alt to meals.
Watch the video on how to prepare herbal s alt:
4. Physical activity
Physical activity, especially during a walk or run, makes the body work hard to pump blood to the heart, lungs and muscles, which need more oxygen during exercise. This causes a decrease in blood flow to the hands and fingers causing the blood vessels to dilate causing swelling.
What to do: raise your arms by opening and closing your hands during physical activity to stimulate blood circulation and prevent swelling of the hands and fingers.
5. High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common disease, especially in the elderly, and occurs as a result of a natural aging process in which the arteries become less flexible and stiffer and the heart needs to beat harder to take blood to other parts. of the body.
When blood reaches the extremities such as the hands and fingers, it can occur because the blood vessels have difficulty carrying blood back to the heart, causing swelling.
What to do: High blood pressure should be treated with medications prescribed by the cardiologist. However, physical activities such as walking, losing weight, cutting down on s alt intake can help control blood pressure and reduce swelling in hands and fingers. Find out how high blood pressure is treated.
6. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve that runs through the center of the hand is compressed, affecting the sensitivity of the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers, and can cause swelling in the fingers and hand, in addition to pain, numbness, tingling and burning sensation.
What to do: You can use a wrist strap to immobilize your wrist and help relieve pain and swelling in your hand and fingers.In addition, you should consult the orthopedist who should indicate the treatment that can be done using drugs such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, corticosteroid injections or surgery. Learn more about treating carpal tunnel syndrome.
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes pain and stiffness in the joints, mainly of the hands and fingers, leading to excessive swelling of the fingers, as well as symptoms such as decreased hand and finger movements and redness of the skin.
What to do: you should consult a rheumatologist to start the most appropriate treatment, which may include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy or surgery. In addition, it is important to eat an anti-inflammatory diet including red or citrus fruits, omega-3 rich fish or green tea, for example, to help control inflammation and relieve swelling in hands and fingers. Check out the full list of the best anti-inflammatory foods.
Tendinitis is an inflammation that occurs in the tendons of the hands and fingers, causing swelling, pain and tenderness.
The main types of tendinitis that can affect the hands and fingers are Quervain's tenosynovitis, which affects the tendons at the base of the thumb, and trigger finger, which mainly affects the tendons of the ring or thumb fingers.
What to do: apply ice packs to swollen fingers and hand to help reduce blood flow to the area and reduce pain and swelling. In addition, an orthopedist should be consulted, who may indicate the use of analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy or, in some cases, surgery.
Gout is a condition in which uric acid accumulates in the joints due to a decrease in its elimination through the urine, leading to swelling of the hands and joints, in addition to causing pain, redness of the skin and formation of small lumps. stiff in the finger joints.
What to do: you should consult the rheumatologist to start the most appropriate treatment that can be done with the use of allopurinol, probenecid or colchicine, for example, which help to lower uric acid levels and reduce pain and swelling in the fingers and hand. In addition, it is recommended to have a diet that helps regulate uric acid levels, including fruits such as apples, oranges and strawberries, vegetables and legumes, as they help prevent the accumulation of uric acid in the blood and increase its elimination through urine. Check out the permitted and prohibited foods for gout, with a suggested menu.
Watch the video with nutritionist Tatiana Zanin with tips on what to eat to avoid swelling in hands and fingers caused by gout:
10. Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes, especially estrogen and progesterone, that occur during the menstrual cycle, PMS or pregnancy, can cause swelling in the hands and fingers due to fluid retention in the body.
Furthermore, swelling in the hands and fingers is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in mood or headache, for example, especially in PMS.
What to do: Massage or lymphatic drainage can be performed on the hands and fingers to help reduce swelling and prevent fluid buildup. In addition, it is important to keep the body hydrated and increase the consumption of diuretic foods such as cantaloupe and watermelon, for example. See the complete list of diuretic foods.
11. Heart failure
Heart failure occurs when the heart does not have enough strength to pump blood that can accumulate in the arms causing swelling in the hands and fingers.
Swelling in the hands and fingers is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as swollen feet, excessive tiredness, shortness of breath and a feeling of pressure in the chest.
What to do: heart failure should always be treated with medication prescribed by a doctor, so it is advisable to follow up with a cardiologist.In addition, s alt consumption should be reduced and light physical activity should be practiced, always under the guidance of a cardiologist.
12. Use of medication
The use of some medications can cause swelling in the hands and fingers such as steroids, minoxidil or high blood pressure medication such as captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, amlodipine, nimodipine, for example.
What to do: you should follow up with the doctor who prescribed one of these drugs to evaluate the dose or if it is necessary to change the treatment, for example. However, simple measures can be done at home, such as lifting the arms, massage or lymphatic drainage to improve blood circulation and prevent swelling of the hands and fingers.
13. Kidney failure
Kidney failure is a condition in which the kidneys do not function properly and therefore do not eliminate body fluids through urine, which can lead to swelling of the hands and fingers, in addition to the feet and of the face.
What to do: kidney failure should be monitored by a nephrologist so that the most appropriate treatment can be given. In some cases where kidney failure is at a more advanced stage, hemodialysis, prescribed by the doctor, may be necessary.
When to go to the doctor
Some symptoms may accompany swelling of hands and fingers and need medical attention as soon as possible and include:
- Swelling happens suddenly;
- Swelling in one hand only;
- Redness of swollen hand or fingers;
- Shortness of breath;
- Cough or expectoration;
- Other symptoms such as fever or tingling.
In these cases, the doctor may order tests such as blood or echo Doppler, for example, to identify the cause of swelling in the hands and fingers and recommend the most appropriate treatment.